CELEBRATING CINCO DE WHAT?
I ducked under a low-hanging paper banner strung across the entrance of Lou’s Bar & Grill. Dangling rows of the same paper banner hung from every wall inside the place. Black flag cutouts displaying skulls and skeletal faces painted in neon white. A bigger banner of dead bones lit up the length of the bar where my co-workers were celebrating.
I was late. Sarah was going to kill me. She did not like being left alone with the guys for so long. We were the only two girls in our social group, which she didn’t mind, unless I was late, and I was super late.
As I got closer, and hoped she’d had enough to drink to nullify her anger. I didn’t have an excused for why I wasn’t on time. I could try telling her the truth, but I was 100% positive no one in our group, not even Sarah, would understand why celebrating Cinco de Mayo wasn’t foremost on my mind given the week’s headlines.
“Look who decided to show up?” Sarah acknowledged my tardiness but was not angry.
“Sorry.” I said. “Hey, guys.” I took the stool next to Sarah at the round bar top table.
Jack and Mike greeted me, but I couldn’t hear a single word over the loud music pouring out of the speakers. Though no one said it, I guessed Steve was in the bathroom.
“I gotta learn how to dance that salsa, man. Seriously.” A fairly drunk Jack tapped Mike on the shoulder before holding his hands up in a dancing position and shaking his torso so hard he almost knocked himself off the stool.
“It’s actually bachata.” I tried to correct him but no one was listening. “Not salsa.”
“Whaaaat?” Sarah lifted her hand to her ear and leaned closer to me.
“Bachata. It’s called bachata.”
“I said it’s bachata,” I repeated, leaning closer to her. “It’s not even Mexican.” I tried to educate. “It’s from the Dominican…never mind.” I stopped when she stopped listening.
Sarah shouted at Mike and waved her hands in circles gesturing for him to order another round of ginormous drink bowls from the waiter who hurried past our table. “We need mucho mas Strawberry Margarita Bowls, señor! Cinco! Cinco bowls!”
How drunk was Sarah?